Spring training must be right around the corner, because we already have our first Phillies injury to report. Cole Hamels (left shoulder) revealed Wednesday that he won't be ready for Opening Day. To fortify the rotation, the Phils agreed to a one-year deal with A.J. Burnett, according to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
Hamels told reporters including CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury that he has dealt with shoulder discomfort since November, which resulted in his offseason throwing program being delayed. Hamels has yet to toss a bullpen session and says he's 8-10 away from throwing one.
Hamels stated that neither nor the Phillies are alarmed. He expects to pitch sometime in April.
"I feel great now," he said.
Hamels consulted with Roy Halladay, who had his career derailed by shoulder issues. Halladay advised Hamels to take his time and not pitch until he's ready.
Adding Burnett gives the Phils early-season insurance, and could give them a formidable rotation when Hamels returns. It puts the Phillies' 1-2-3 right up against the Dodgers and Nationals for best in the NL. Burnett led the NL with 9.8 K/9 in 2013 and has the second-highest groundball rate in the majors since 2012.